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Cryptonym: AMSTRAW-1

Definition:
DGI officer, Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa (also known as Miguel Roa). A cable in November of 1964 stated that Mexico City station wanted JMWAVE to send AMMUG-1 to the former to make an attempted defection attempt on AMSTRAW-1.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
The cable included a 201 number of 201-730852. AMMUG-1's (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) 201 number was 201-749651. Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa had a 201 number of 201-730852 (104-10239-10199 and 104-10054-10014). Therefore, by deduction, Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa was AMSTRAW-1. According to CIA documents (mostly from debriefings from AMMUG-1), Fernandez was a DGI officer, who had been in the National Police from 1959 to 1963. He was also a friend of Manuel Vega. In 1963 and 1964, Fernandez Roa was based in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, as third secretary and/or press attache. According to a memo in September, 1965, AMMUG-1 and Fernandez had both known each other in the Cuban Police. In addition, they had last met in March of 1965 in Mexico.
Sources:

104-10093-10104: CABLE RE JOSE MIGUEL FERNANDEZ ROA, THIRD SECRETARY CUBAN EMBASSY IN MEXICO

10/22/63: Cable from Mexico City to Director: "1. On 21 Oct New York Times writer Herbert Matthews talked to Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa, third secretary Cuban Embassy MEXI. Fernandez who had telegram from Dr. Raul Roa, Cuban Foreign Minister, requesting embassy contact Matthews immediately, asked Matthews to visit embassy to talk with ambassador..."

104-10186-10292: INFORMATION REPORT: MIGUEL ROA

07/20/64: Information Report: Country: Cuba. Place & Date Acq: Washington, D.C., July 1964: "Source: A former Cuban IS officer who served with the Cuban Intelligence Service until April 1964 (AMMUG-1). Headquarters Comments:...1. Miguel Roa is an officer in the Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI - General Directorate of Intelligence) and has been stationed in Mexico for probably more than one year. In Mexico, for cover purposes, he holds the position of Press Attache, this comes under the Ministry of Foreign Relations. He has visited Habana and when there, visits the office building where the Liberacion Nacional (LN - National Liberation) section of the DGI is located. He has also visited Manuel Piniero at his office apartment. 2. Prior to being assigned to the DGI and to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Roa was a first lieutenant in the National Police in 1959 to 1963. 3. Roa was born about 1925, is five feet seven inches tall, weighs (unintelligible) pounds, has bushy blond hair, white skin, a red face and a thin nose. Roa is a friend of Manuel Vega, pseudonym 'Marcos.' Headquarters Comment: 1. The records of this Agency reveal no identifiable information on Roa."

104-10186-10230: INFORMATION REPORT: JOSE MIGUEL FERNANDEZ ROA

10/07/64: Information Report: Country: Cuba. Place & Date Acq.: Washington, D.C., October 1964. "Source: A former Cuban IS officer who served with the Cuban Intelligence Service until April 1964 (AMMUG-1). Headquarters Comments:...Source has now identified a passport photograph of Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa as being identical with Miguel Roa (see reference). Source has known Fernandez for five years, having met him when both were members of the Cuban Police. The last time source saw Fernandez was in Mexico in March 1963...Headquarters Comments: 1. In a report dated 19 December 1956, an untested source reported that the Juventud Socialista (Cuban Communist Youth Organization - JS) at the University of Habana was promoting Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa in the School of Philosophy and Letters for the executive committee of the Federacion Estudiantil Universitaria (University Students Federation - FEU). 2. In a report dated 27 April 1963, it was reported by a usually reliable source that Jose M. Fernandez Roa, carrying Cuban Diplomatic Passport 634214, arrived in Mexico from Habana...5. A former Cultural Attache and Cuban Intelligence Service office gave the following information on Miguel Fernandez Roa in a report dated 24 August 1963: Source first met Fernandez in 1954 during the early days of the organization of the 26th of July Movement in Cuba; Fernandez was one of the organizers of the Movement. He later heard that Fernandez was a member of the Cuban Intelligence Service in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. In 1954-55, Fernandez attended the University of Habana, where he studied philosophy and was a leader of the student group 'Luchando en la Fila Ortodoxo.' In 1959 he returned to Cuba from Mexico and was designated Comandancia General de la Policia in Habana. He was later named assistant to Efigenio Almejeiras Delgado; when Ramiro Valdez replaced Almejeiras as Chief of Police, Fernandez remained in his same position." (CONTINUED BELOW)

104-10186-10230: INFORMATION REPORT: JOSE MIGUEL FERNANDEZ ROA

10/07/64: Information Report: Country: Cuba. Place & Date Acq.: Washington, D.C., October 1964. Page 2: ..."Fernandez was born in Manzanillo, Oriente Province, about 1935. His father at one time worked at the Central Estrada Palma in Manzanillo. Fernandez is an intellectual type and liked to live an easy life. He was not in accord with the Revolution, but was a Communist sympathizer. He is married, but has a reputation for woman-chasing. Fernandez is about 135 pounds, five feet four inches tall, has brown wavy hair, brown eyes, and a fair complexion. 6. A usually reliable source, in a report dated 23 January 1964, said that Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa was the Third Secretary and Press Attache of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. 7. In a report from this Agency's representative in Mexico, 16 June 1964, it was reported that Miguel Roa and Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa, Third Secretary and Press Attache of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, are believed to be identical. The description of Roa given by the source in the above referenced report fits that of Fernandez with the exception of the hair color; Fernandez' hair is dark rather than blond. Fernandez Roa is known by the Cuban Embassy staff in Mexico as Roa."

104-10161-10273: MESSAGE FORM: MUST HAVE PRIOR TRAVEL DETAILS

11/05/64: Cable from Director to Mexico and JMWAVE (Orig: B. Hidalgo, Unit: WH/SA/CI): Slugline TYPIC AMMUG AMSTRAW: REF: MEXI 1454 (IN 16261)*: "1. HQs concurs ref request. 2. For WAVE: Must have prior travel details. HQs will handle notification ODURGE (U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service - INS) re AMMUG travel. *MEXI requests WAVE send AMMUG/1 MEXI for pitch to AMSTRAW/1." At the top of cable: "X-ref. 201-730852." Releasing Officer: Desmond FitzGerald C/WHD. Among the Coordinating Officers: WH/SA/EOB - Armstrong; WH/PO/A - J. Horton; WH/1- Spera; OS/AAS- William Knott (by telecon). Authenticating Officer: Bruce B. Cheever DC/WH/SA.

104-10185-10280: CABLE: AMMUG-1 DEPARTED PER REF. WIL STAY AT HOTEL MAJESTIC ON

11/06/64: Cable from JMWAVE to Mexico (Info: Director): Slugline TYPIC AMMUG AMSTRAW: REF WAVE 4302 (IN 17297)* "AMMUG/1 departed per ref. Will stay at hotel Majestic on Zocalo and begin contact plan 1000 hours 6 Nov 64. *AMMUG-1 ETN MEXI 2110 5 Nov."

104-10239-10199: AMMUG-1 DEBRIEFING REPORT #198: JOSE MIGUEL FERNANDEZ 'ROA (MIGUEL ROA)/

09/16/65: Memorandum for the record from Barney Hidalgo, WH/SA/CI and Harold F. Swenson, Chief WH/SA/CI: Subject: General: AMMUG-1 Debriefing Report #198. Specific: Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa (201-730852): "1. Source has now identified a passport photograph of Subject as being identical with Subject of reference. 2. Source further states that he considers Subject to be very friendly towards him and has known him for the last five years, having met him when both were members of the Cuban Police. According to Source Subject lives beyond his means and likes the easy life. 3. The last time that Source saw Subject was in Mexico, D.F., in March of this year."

104-10054-10014: WITHHELD

04/09/71: Contact Report by Case Officer Eustace D. Kloock: Agent: AMMUG-1. Place: AMMUG-1's home. Date/Time: 6 April 1971, 1530-1800: Page 3: ..."Jose Miguel Fernandez Roa (201-730852)..."

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Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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